Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life Update

It's kind of a thing for some bloggers to post updates on their lives (particularly my friends who are getting involved in vocational ministry). Though I did so for Summer Project, I haven't since Spring Break several months ago and I feel like now would be a pretty good time with all the transitions in my life.

So, for starters, I have indeed finished college summa cum laude at the University of Minnesota. (Not graduated--I haven't graduated until I'm holding my diploma in my hands) My honors thesis was pretty stressful, but I managed to finish writing it well in advance and present it to my readers. It feels amazing to be totally done with it. Then I had three weeks of absolutely nothing after commencement my last finals, during which I blogged a lot (as you may have noticed) and played possibly too much Skyrim.

Also, my roommates moved out and I have been greatly enjoying having the whole four-person apartment to myself. Given that I'm such an introvert, I've really been enjoying the whole living alone thing. Having the apartment be totally static except for what I do in it is a blessing and a curse--but mostly a blessing. And it's so clean all the time! Unfortunately, I don't have long to enjoy it for the below reasons.

My church, Hope Community Church, is at a pretty exciting time this summer. For one, our worship pastor is supervising the recording of an album of some of our favorite songs to sing in church. The music is one of my favorite parts about Hope; Tim really likes playing old Christian hymns set to our electric type of electro-folk rock. I guess growing up I never connected too much with the musical style of the old hymns at my home church, and the style at Hope really breathes new life into them and helps me to enjoy the truth and beauty of the lyrics as they were meant to be enjoyed. Anyway, I got the opportunity to visit the studio where they're recording it last week, and it seems to be in great hands! I can't wait to hear it.

But that was just an aside. The really exciting thing is that we are going multi-site...sort of. Due to our uncontrollably exploding attendance, we are planning on moving some of our services into the building next door, Augustana Lutheran (now "Hope East"). We've already raised enough money to buy the building outright (praise God!) and this summer are in the process of renovating it to start using it in the fall. So I'm helping with this two or three days a week. So far we've just been doing demolition--knocking out walls and tearing up flooring, which has been fun but exhausting. Soon we'll start painting!

I've also been teaching Sunday School for preschoolers for a few months now. All of the other regular teachers have other summer commitments so now I am the head teacher of around twelve adorable and wonderful 3-to-4-year-olds, which I never would have believed a year ago. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing (which hopefully is normal) and I keep praying that I would make an impact in their lives.

So that's pretty much my whole life right now...oh, right, the elephant in the blog. My career. I am two weeks into my employment with Seagate Technology! I've rejoined the Failure Analysis team I worked with last summer doing more software stuff; we're kind of like a forensics team for hard drives and I will be writing and maintaining software tools to help them slog through all the data they gather. It's a great job, I get to do something I enjoy and put my degree to good use. I have a great team and manager, and the pay is...well, excellent. God has blessed me in huge ways with this job.

So why do I have so little time at home? In addition to the eight hours at work every day, I spend at least three hours on the bus as well. I am part of the minority of American adults who do not own a car. Which isn't too unusual for a twenty-something with the increasing sway of the "green" movement, except that my job is almost 30 kilometers away. Despite this, I have no desire to get a car or move to Shakopee (which would force me to get a car).

For most of my life, up to early this year, my plan was to get a car that doesn't run on fossil fuels. And it looked like the technology was just in time to let me achieve this dream. But I decided to put off getting one for a while, partly to let my credit score improve/save enough money, but also just to see how it went, Then, as I saw how possible living without a car was, I decided to just forgo it altogether.

I have several reasons for not wanting a car. With the construction and parking insanity around campus, a car has become to me more of a liability than an asset. I didn't want the hassle and expense of paying for gas (if my car used it), insurance, maintenance, etc., not to mention the actual car. But most of all, I really just don't like driving, especially in traffic. Every time I slow to a crawl with a sea of brake lights in front of me, I feel like there are too many cars on the roads already and that by getting one I would become part of the problem. And, of course, as you may see in my previous post on transportation biking is far more efficient.

Luckily, thanks to Metro Transit I can get from my apartment to work with about a quarter mile of walking. It just takes forever, giving me all the time in the world to read or think on the bus. And I have plenty of thinking to do about where God has put me. Since I'm spending the majority of my waking hours at work or commuting, how do I live a life of faithfulness to God in that context? How do I keep building relationships now that I'm out of school? How do I effectively love the kids in my Sunday School and train them in the way they should go? How do I, Lord willing, begin to seek a wife? I'd appreciate prayer on any of these things.

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